Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Woodfords - Pony Express Route

Alpine County, August 30, 1993

Welcome to Alpine County, if you’re looking for a doctor, hospital, dentist, supermarket, service station, traffic signal, theatre, convenience store, fast food, bank or ATM, this is not the place for you. The county is held together by one major road with Ebbett’s Pass (8,730 feet) dividing the unincorporated communities, and it’s closed due to snow a good part of the year. Most folks on this eastern side consider themselves Nevadans in part and tend to go ‘downtown’ to Minden/Gardnerville to get things done. In all, about 1300 people live in the county, making it the least populated in the state.

Aside from the the rarity of services in the area, this is an outstanding region to visit, camp, or rest a spell. It was during one stay in the ‘80’s and under the column of statements one would like to have back, this contributor was playing a gig in Markleeville shortly after a major fire had passed through Woodfords and the quip was made ‘y’all should change your name from Woodfords to Ashford. It went over about as well as telling a bevy of Lucas jokes to the Austin-Healey owner’s club.  

The Woodford’s Pony Express remount station at Cary’s barn was only used for the first five weeks when Dr. Charles Daggett offered to let the riders use Daggett’s Pass toll free, saving time and three remount stations..

For this trip, it's the end of the trail for Pony Express markers...more remain to the west closer to Sacramento and Friday's on the Nevada border, and will be covered in later dispatches.

Plaque inscription: NO. 805 PONY EXPRESS REMOUNT STATION AT WOODFORDS - Woodfords became a remount station of the Pony Express on April 4, 1860, when Warren Upson scaled the mountains in a blinding snowstorm and made his way down the eastern slope of the Sierra on his way to Carson City. Five weeks later the Pony Express was rerouted by way of Echo Summit and Luther Pass.
Location:  On Hwy 89, 0.1 mi N of intersection of State Hwy 4 and Old Pony Express Rd, Woodfords
Google maps: 38.775775,-119.823932

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